A serious Barbaresco made by one man, Roccalini is the product of intense work and the desire never to give up. Founded by Paolo Veglio, who is incredibly dedicated to making great wine, he was honest about the financial struggle of bottling his vineyards instead of selling off fruit, showing how passionate he is as a winemaker. Holdings are small here but are as natural and biodiverse as they come producing some mesmerizing and unique wines that are some of our favorites from Barbaresco. We have a few cases of his flagship Barbaresco due to arrive next month, and it is an excellent buy at this pricing.
Cascina Rocalini is a one-person show working vines in the Roccalini vineyard where the winery gets its name. We were able to visit the winery a few summers ago, and it was one of our favorites of the trip. The winemaker Paolo Veglio is a gentle giant and, at the time, had long wild hair reaching down every so often during the tour to pet a cat that was following him around. His wines embody his personality, complex, mysterious, powerful, yet with a gentle touch. Paolo is a farmer at heart and has several different varieties of Nebbiolo growing in his vineyards to promote biodiversity and complexity. He also promotes organic cultivation and showed us how alive his vineyards are; grasses, plants, and wildflowers thrived throughout the vineyards, many of which were planted in the 60s, filling the space between and surrounding the vines themselves. His wines are classically inspired and traditionally made with Paolos personal and organic thumbprint. After visiting the estate, it is apparent how much work he puts into making the best wine he can with no help. Paolo used to sell his grapes to Bruno Giacosa, but in the early 2000s, he chose to make and bottle his harvest, which makes him less money, but he is overall happier. 2018 was a challenging year, the opposite of 2017 with lots of rainfall and a more significant crop that required much green harvesting to meet the legal limits of yields, which also helped weed out some of the lesser clusters, improving the vintage's quality overall. While the 2018s aren't as concentrated, they are very fresh with excellent purity of fruit, elegance, and aromatics while also being more approachable, which is great for those not looking to wait around to enjoy their wine. Roccalini is magnificent and very hard to acquire Barbaresco that has been slowly catching on over the years, but the production is still so small that these wines are sporadic finds. These only make it to the USA a few cases at a time, and right now, we have the only bottles available.